Cafe 227

Saturday, April 01, 2006

More Evidence that Google is Unstoppable

It's 9:45 on Saturday night. Most of my friends are out at bars, having fun, enjoying the beautiful weather, enjoying life, etc. I'm putting cash flow models together for a transaction scheduled to close Monday to appease an investor who got skittish at the 11th hour. I would complain, but things could be a lot worse - for instance, I could be a college student in Chechnya.

Anyway, I'd like to use this brief break in the action to share a new, free service from Google that I learned about last night. It's called - well, I don't know what it's called. But it's like a free directory assistance. Here's how it works: You send a text message of the place you're looking for to "466453", and Google will send back a text message with the address and phone number.

For instance, say you're stumbling home from Millie & Al's (this assumes you just moved to DC, so you don't know any better). Clearly, you're wasted and hungry, but you just read an article in the City Paper about how the jumbo slices have roughly 20,000 calories each and are rife with e. coli. You remember reading about Ben's Chili Bowl in your Intern's Guide to Washington, and you think it's somewhere nearby, but you can't remember the precise location. What do you do?

In the past, you probably would've stumbled due east drunk, taken a wrong turn, ended up in Columbia Heights, been beaten, mugged, and left for dead. But not anymore, thanks to this new Google service (and the rapid gentrification of Northwest DC). Now, you can just text "ben's chili bowl washington dc" to 466453. You'll recieve - almost instantaneously - a text back from Google with Ben's Chili Bowl's address, phone number, and the approximate distance from the center of the city (which, according to Google maps, is somewhere between the White House and the Ellipse).

Now back to work...


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